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Aggression in cats (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2011

Feline social behavior

Cats are not asocial animals nor are they small dogs
Cats are social animals and are individuals.

For free ranging cats:

     • Home Ranges (area traveled during normal activities)
     • Time shares (Overlap)
     • Social groups
     • Stable
     • Co-operative parenting
     • Little is definitively known about hierarchy
     • Not "pack"

Affiliative gestures - behaviors that ↓ distance between cats

     • Characterized by Allogrooming and allorubbing
     • Proximity
     • Food sharing
     • Play

Agonistic behaviors - behaviors that ↑ distance between animals

     • Vocalization
     • Piloerection
     • Body language
     • Facial expressions
     • Facial Expressions

Types of Feline Aggression:

     • Redirected aggression
     • Territorial aggression
     • Fear-related aggression
     • Play-related aggression
     • Petting-induced (Status-related) aggression
     • Aggression in the Veterinary Office

Treatment options:

     • Desensitization and counterconditioning (DS/CC)
     • "House of Plenty"/Proper Play Activities
     • Remote punishment
     • +/- medications
     • +/- NILIF
     • Desensitization and Counterconditioning
     • Gradual (re)introductions
     • Start introductions through closed door
     • Screen door/carriers/leashes
     • Gradually increase time together and proximity
     • Rotate cats
     • Create a group scent
     • Towels
     • Feliway?